Be careful what you wish for!
Amateur Gardening|November 06, 2021
Val explains how her new cat is just a part-time visitor
Val Bourne

THE Best Beloved and I are cat lovers, but we’ve been without a cat for four years or so following Poppy Cat’s sudden and upsetting passing. During eight months of lockdown, when we saw nobody, we decided to get another cat, carefully weighing up the effect on our wildlife. After all, Chris Packham once said that cats are ‘sly, greedy insidious murderers’ and the RSPB substantiates his view, so don’t rise up! They estimate that cats in the UK catch up to 100 million prey items over spring and summer, of which 27 million are birds.

This is just the number of prey items that were known to have been caught, presumably presented to their owners as trophies. Poppy Cat caught voles and sometimes ate the bodies, but she ignored birds, and we wanted another outdoor vole hunter. Looking at mugshots of homeless cats on the internet proved pointless. The good looking ones disappeared quickly, leaving the others to linger on forlornly. Many were house cats that loved a sofa, so the search dragged on.

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